This month (June 2022) Lee Immins and James Wilson gave us an overview of the Weizenbier (German wheat beer) styles in preparation for a themed meeting in August.
Pronunciation guide for English-‐speakers:
Hefeweizen: "hay-‐fuh-‐veyt-‐sssenn" (Do NOT
pronounce it "haﬃe-‐vi-‐zon!")
• Old fashioned Bavarian wheat beer was often dark.
• While Bavaria has a wheat beer tradition dating back hundreds of years,
brewing pale wheat beer used to be a monopoly reserved for Bavarian
royalty until the late 1700s.
• Historically weissbier could be any beer made with a portion of ‘white’
malt that was air dried rather than kilned, but ‘weizen’ must contain at
least 50% wheat even today.
• Modern weissbier dates from 1872 when Schneider began production.
• Pale weissbier only became popular since the 1960s.
• Doppelbock strength (Weizenbock) Aventinus was created in 1907 by
Schneider Weisse Brauhaus. Pale Weizenbock are a more recent
• At least 50% wheat malt (up to 70% is common).
• For Pale Weissbier use pale wheat and pilsner malt.
• Dunkels Weissbier is a bit more open. Pale or dark wheat malt, as well as
Pilsner, Vienna, Munich and possibly caramel or even small amounts of
• Weizenbock just uses more malt!
• Can use oat husks/rice hulls to reduce risk of stuck mash.
• Low IBU: 8-15 (pale), 10-18 (dark), 15-30 (bock) with noble hops.
• Yeast: Hefeweizen yeast – more in this in a moment
• Water: Ideally soft. Cl:S04 1:1
• Single or double decoction is traditional.
• Single infusion can be used eﬀectively in a homebrew
setting. (I’ve mashed at 67C, no other rests)
• A ferulic acid rest 43–45 °C (at higher pH to normal) will
accentuate clove ﬂavours (4 vinyl guaiacol).
• A protein mash at 50C will reduce the risk of a stuck
• Boil – 90 minutes (more protein, less tannins, pilsner
malt – DMS risk)
• Fermentation factors are highly important in this style
Good overview: https://beerandwinejournal.com/german-wheat-beers-v/
• White Labs WLP 300 – Balanced clove and banana
• White Labs WLP351 – Lager/Weiss mix. Attenuates more, milder flavour.
• White Labs WLP 380 – More clove, low sulphur
• Wyeast 3068 – Same as WLP380
• Wyeast 3638 – Same as WLP351
• Wyeast 3333 – Floculent for kristalweizen
• Omega OYL-021 – Banana and Clove
• Mangrove Jacks M20 – Mild banana/clove/pepper
• Lallemand Munich – Same as WLP300
• Safbrew WB-06 – Actually a Belgian yeast similar to WLP570/Wyeast 1388
Striking a balance between the clove and banana in a is important.
Yeast strain choice is going to be the most important variable.
However, other things also play a role. Eg ferulic acid rest, pitch rates
• Fermentation temperature 12-‐24C(!) – 17 or 18 is a good place to start
If you want a banana dominated beer, strive to stimulate ester production.
This will mask the 4VG in your beer. Your most eﬀective controller of
this - beyond the yeast strain selection - is a higher fermentation
If you want a clove-‐dominated beer, strive to keep ester production in
check, which will allow the 4VG to come through. Lower fermentation
temperatures and secondarily higher pitching rates are what you want
in that case. The exact temperatures at which banana starts to exceed
clove depend on your yeast strain and pitching rate - and given all the
variables is something you would need to ﬁne‐tune in yourbrewery.
2021 BJCP Guidelines 10A: Weissbier
Overall Impression: A pale, refreshing, lightly-hopped German wheat beer with high carbonation, dry finish, fluffy
mouthfeel, and a distinctive banana-and-clove weizen yeast fermentation profile.
Aroma: Moderate to strong esters and phenols, typically banana and clove, often well balanced and typically
stronger than the malt. Light to moderate bready, doughy, or grainy wheat aroma. Light vanilla optional. Light
floral, spicy, or herbal hops optional. Bubblegum (strawberry with banana), sourness, or smoke are faults.
Appearance: Pale straw to gold in color. Very thick, moussy, long-lasting white head. Can be hazy and have a shine
from wheat and yeast, although this can settle out in bottles.
Flavor: Low to moderately strong banana and clove flavor, often well balanced. Low to moderate soft, somewhat
bready, doughy, or grainy wheat flavor supported by the slight Pils malt grainy sweetness. Very low to moderately
low bitterness. Well-rounded, flavorful palate with a relatively dry finish. Light vanilla optional. Very low floral,
spicy, or herbal hop flavor optional. Any impression of sweetness is due more to low bitterness than any residual
sweetness; a sweet or heavy finish impairs drinkability. Bubblegum, sourness, or smoke are faults. While the
banana-and-clove profile is important, it should not be so strong as to be extreme and unbalanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body; never heavy. Fluffy, creamy fullness progressing to a light, spritzy finish aided by high
to very high carbonation. Effervescent.
Comments: Also known as hefeweizen or weizenbier, particularly outside Bavaria. These beers are best enjoyed
while young and fresh, as they often don’t age well. In Germany, lower-alcohol light (leicht) and non-alcoholic
versions are popular. Kristall versions are filtered for brilliant clarity.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 – 1.053
IBUs: 8 – 15 FG: 1.008 – 1.014
SRM: 2 – 6 ABV: 4.3 – 5.6%
Commercial Examples: Ayinger Bräu Weisse, Distelhäuser Hell Weizen, Hacker-Pschorr Hefeweißbier, Hofbräuhaus
Münchner Weisse, Schneider Weisse Original Weissbier, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier.
Overall Impression: A moderately dark German wheat beer with a distinctive banana-and-clove weizen yeast
fermentation profile, supported by a toasted bread or caramel malt flavor. Highly carbonated and refreshing,
with a creamy, fluffy texture and light finish.
Aroma: Moderate esters and phenols, typically banana and clove, often well balanced with each other and with the
malt. Light to moderate bready, doughy, or grainy wheat aroma, often accompanied by caramel, bread crust, or
richer malt notes. Low to moderate vanilla optional. Light floral, spicy, or herbal hops optional. Bubblegum
(strawberry with banana), sourness, or smoke are faults.
Appearance: Light copper to dark, mahogany brown in color. Very thick, moussy, long-lasting off-white head. Can be
hazy and have a shine from wheat and yeast, although this can settle out in bottled versions.
Flavor: Low to moderately strong banana and clove flavor, often well balanced with each other and with the malt,
although the malt may sometimes mask the clove impression. Low to medium-high soft, somewhat bready,
doughy, or grainy wheat flavor with richer caramel, toast, or bread crust flavors. No strongly roasted flavors, but a
touch of roasty dryness is allowable. Very low to low bitterness. Well-rounded, flavorful, often somewhat malty
palate with a relatively dry finish. Very light to moderate vanilla optional. Low spicy, herbal, or floral hop flavor
optional. Bubblegum, sourness, or smoke are faults.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium-full body. Fluffy, creamy fullness progressing to a lighter finish, aided by moderate to high
Comments: Often known as dunkelweizen, particularly in the United States. Increasingly rare and often being
replaced by Kristall and non-alcoholic versions in Germany.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 – 1.057
IBUs: 10-18 FG: 1.008 – 1.014
SRM: 14-23 ABV: 4.3 – 5.6%
Commercial Examples: Ayinger Ur-Weisse, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel, Ettaler Benediktiner Weißbier Dunkel,
Hirsch Dunkel Weisse, Tucher Dunkles Hefe Weizen, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel.
2021 BJCP Guidelines 10B: Dunkles Weissbier
Overall Impression: A strong and malty German wheat beer combining the best wheat and yeast flavors of a Weissbier with the rich
maltiness, strength, and body of a Bock. The style range includes Bock and Doppelbock strength, with variations for pale and dark
Aroma: Medium-high to high malty richness with a significant bready, grainy wheat character. Medium-low to medium-high weizen yeast
character, typically banana and clove. Vanilla accents optional. No hops. Low to moderate alcohol, not hot or solventy. The malt,
yeast, and alcohol are well balanced, complex, and inviting. Bubblegum (strawberry with banana), sourness, or smoke are faults.
Dark versions have a deeper, highly toasted, bready malt richness with significant Maillard products, similar to a Dunkles Bock or
dark Doppelbock. They can also have caramel and dark fruit esters, like plums, prunes, dark grapes, fruit leather, and raisins,
particularly as they age. Pale versions have a grainy-sweet, bready, toasty malty richness, similar to a Helles Bock or pale
Appearance: Very thick, moussy, long-lasting head. Can be hazy and have a shine from wheat and yeast, although this can settle out with
age. Dark versions are dark amber to dark ruby-brown in color, with a light tan head. Pale versions are gold to amber in color, with a
very white to off-white head.
Flavor: Medium-high to high malty richness with significant bready, grainy wheat flavor. Low to moderate banana and spice (clove, vanilla)
yeast character. No hop flavor. Low to medium-low bitterness can give a slightly sweet palate impression, but the beer typically
finishes dry. Light alcohol can enhance this character. The interplay between the malt, yeast, and alcohol adds complexity and
interest, which is often enhanced with age. Bubblegum, sourness, or smoke are faults. Dark versions have deeper, richly bready or
toasty malt flavors with significant Maillard products, optionally with caramel or light chocolate but not roast. Can have some dark
fruit esters like plums, prunes, dark grapes, fruit leather, or raisins, particularly as they age. Pale versions have a bready, toasty,
grainy-sweet malt richness.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full to full body. Soft, smooth, fluffy or creamy texture. Mild alcohol warmth. Moderate to high carbonation.
Comments: A Weissbier brewed to bock or doppelbock strength, although Schneider also produces an Eisbock version. Pale and dark
versions exist, but dark is most common. Lightly oxidized Maillard products can produce some rich, intense flavors and aromas that
are often seen in aged imported commercial products; fresher versions will not have this character. Well-aged examples might also
take on a slight sherry-like complexity. Pale versions, like their doppelbock cousins, have less rich malt complexity and often more
hop-forward. However, versions that have significant late hops or are dry-hopped should be entered in 34B Mixed-Style Beer.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.064-1.090
IBUs: 8 – 15 FG: 1.015 – 1.022
SRM: 6-25 ABV: 6.5-9%
Commercial Examples: Dark – Plank Bavarian Dunkler Weizenbock, Penn Weizenbock, Schalchner Weisser Bock, Schneider Weisse
Aventinus; Pale –Ayinger Weizenbock, Distelhäuser Weizen Bock, Ladenburger Weizenbock Hell, Weihenstephaner Vitus
2021 BJCP Guidelines 10C: Weizenbock
Pale (2nd Brewcon 2018):
• 55% Weyermann Pale Wheat
• 44% Weyermann Pilsner Malt
• 1% Melanoidin Malt
• Mash at 45C for 10 minutes then 65C for 60
• 11 IBU noble hop at 60m
• WLP380 fermented at 17C
• OG 1.049, FG 1.011
Dark Weizenbock (2nd Brewcon 2017):
• 41% Weyermann Pale Wheat
• 33% Weyermann Vienna
• 10% Weyermann Dark Wheat
• 7% Dingemans Aromatic
• 7% Weyermann Carawheat
• 2% Weyermann Chocolate Wheat
• Triple decotion with rests at 56C, 62C, 67C,
• 20 IBU noble hop at 60m
• WLP380 fermented at 17C, raising to 19C after
• OG 1.082, FG 1.020, ABV 8%
Dunkel (about to brew):
• 60% Weyermann Dark Wheat
• 40% Weyermann Munich II
• Double decoction with rests at 45C,
• 15 IBU noble hop at 60m
• WLP380 fermented at 17C
• OG 1.049, FG 1.011
• 47% Pale Wheat
• 28% Munich
• 18% Vienna
• 5% Special B
• 2% Chocolate Wheat
• 15 IBU noble hop at 60m
• WLP380 fermented at 18C
• OG 1.055, FG 1.013, ABV 5.5%